Cut Big Timber like the Pros: Q&A with the Mafell ZSX Chain Beam Saw
We hope you are enjoying a summer of quality projects, and perhaps you skipped some work to watch dramatic USA and German futbol matches!
Last summer we wrote to you about how the Mafell ZSX Ec/400 Chain Beam Saw was a "game changer." It has prompted many follow-up questions about one of the most unique machines we offer at Timberwolf Tools. We hope the answers below help you determine whether a ZSX is the right decision for your business.
What can the ZSX do that my circular saw can't?
The ZSX Ec 400 is ideal for rafter cuts: able to do compound miter cuts up to 60° as well as bevel cuts up to 60°. The "400" stands for the beam thickness it can cut in millimeters, which translates to 15-11/16 Inches! At a 45° angle, the ZSX can cut 11-1/16 inches thick (282 mm) and at 60° it can cut 7-13/16 inches thick (199 mm).
Compound Miter Cuts
It looks like a chain saw, but are the cuts smooth?
The ZSX cross-cuts almost as smoothly as a circular saw, due to special Mafell chains. There are two chain options: Carbide and Steel. Carbide provides the finest cuts and longest durability, and the steel is a very practical option that is easy to sharpen. Both models have an anti-splintering plate that prevents chipping along the cutting edge.
How well can it hold a line?
The ZSX works with best with the Mafell Universal Guide that connects to the parallel fence, enabling perfectly straight cuts. Furthermore, the rigid bar behind the chain prevents deflection of the chain bar during 90° or angled cuts. Plus the ZSX uses twin-guide tilt adjustment for precise angle cuts, and the motor's cooling air blows the pointer clean to ensure clear visibility.
My crew is lightning-fast with circular saws that they've been using their whole careers. Would this big saw slow them down?
This tool was made for pros, enabling the fastest and most accurate single pass cuts in large timbers. The scale's locking function allows for standard tilt angles to be set quickly, and can also be tilted on both sides for maximum convenience (and to accommodate both right-handed and left-handed users). The start-up lock is integrated into the ergonomic rear handle with the on/off switch. It weighs only 31 lbs (14.1 kg) thanks to the Mafell magnesium casing. The ZSX also uses automatic chain lubrication and the volume can be adjusted precisely. Finally, the 3000 W CUprex motor is available in both 120V and 230V versions depending on your team's power needs.
Okay, I ordered the ZSX on your website. Now what should I do with my obsolete circular saws?
Young timber framers are often looking for used tools--especially Mafell circular saws--because of their durability. Network at the Timber Framers Guild Conference (August 7-10) to help out another framer and make some money in the process. Timberwolf Tools will bring a ZSX to the conference so you can show fellow guildmates the big timber capabilities of your shop. And keep in mind that circular saws are superior to chain beam saws when ripping because of their thinner blade kerf.
As always, we welcome additional questions! Our toll-free line is 800-469-8169.
A big congrats to Germany on winning the World Cup! My wife Kate and I are looking forward to visiting the Mafell AG headquarters in Oberndorf this Fall (let me know if anyone would like to dog-sit the "timberwolf" while we are away).
See you at the Timber Framers Guild conference next week!
Jeff Powell and the Timberwolf Tools family
Toll free: 800-869-4169